Asus U46E-BAL6 review: Asus U46E-BAL6

The only thing the Asus U46E-BAL6 lacks is dedicated graphics for gaming or advanced GPU performance. Included integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics are enough for basic gaming and most everyday needs, but Street Fighter IV ran at a middling 18.1 frames per second using the native-resolution benchmark at 2x AA. If you're a gamer, you'll notice the difference.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
Asus U46E-BAL6 Avg watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.66
Sleep (10%) 1.49
Idle (25%) 9.38
Load (05%) 52.11
Raw kWh number 48.14
Annual power consumption cost $5.46

Annual power consumption cost
Dell XPS 14z
$4.31 
Asus U46E-BAL6
$5.46 

The included removable battery is impressive. Ours lasted through 5 hours and 12 minutes of continuous video playback. That's less than what laptops like the Toshiba Portege, MacBook Pro, and Dell XPS 14z provide, but it's admirable for the size and performance power of this laptop, and it's enough power to last a good chunk of a work day with battery settings adjusted.

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

A one-year standard warranty on parts and labor is included with the Asus U46E-BAL6. Best Buy, which offers this particularly configuration exclusively, has additional extended warranty plans: $159 for a two-year extended warranty that covers wear and tear, battery, dead pixels, or power-surge-related damage, or $289 for the same warranty with additional accidental damage protection. Whether extended warranties make sense to you is a personal decision, but we don't tend to recommend them.

There's a lot to love about the Asus U46E-BAL6: tons of hard-drive space and RAM, a fast processor, and an excellent chassis and keyboard in a compact frame, with a battery that's good enough for its size. All of this makes it one of the best 14-inch laptops I've seen this year, and an excellent holiday shopping recommendation.

System configurations:

Asus U46E-BAL6
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Dell XPS 14z
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-2640M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 520M / 1GB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Toshiba Portege R835-P56X
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 256GB JMicron 616 SSD

Acer Aspire S3-951-6646
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 128MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 320GB Hitachi 5400rpm + 20GB SSD

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    Asus U46E-BAL6

    Part Number: CNETU46E-BAL6
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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Installed Size 8 GB
    • Weight 4.6 lbs
    • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL)
    • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • CPU Intel Core i7 (2nd Gen) 2620M / 2.7 GHz
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